Controlling residual hydrogen gas in mass spectra during pulsed laser atom probe tomography
Residual hydrogen (H
) gas in the analysis chamber of an atom probe instrument limits the ability to measure H concentration in metals and alloys. Measuring H concentration would permit quantification of important physical phenomena, such as hydrogen embrittlement, corrosion, hydrogen trapping, and grain boundary segregation.
Increased insight into the behavior of residual H
gas on the specimen tip surface in atom probe instruments could help reduce these limitations. The influence of user-selected experimental parameters on the field adsorption and desorption of residual H
gas on nominally pure copper (Cu) was studied during ultraviolet pulsed laser atom probe tomography.
The results indicate that the total residual hydrogen concentration, H
, in the mass spectra exhibits a generally decreasing trend with increasing laser pulse energy and increasing laser pulse frequency. Second-order interaction effects are also important.
The pulse energy has the greatest influence on the quantity H
, which is consistently less than 0.1 at.% at a value of 80 pJ.